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Old March 19th, 2010, 09:51 AM   #196
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Interesting...

All the Ford guys are pickup drivers as it looks...

I grew up around trucks and would drive a bigger vehicle if I could rationalize the fuel consumption somehow...

I've been using minivans for some time now...partial to Fords...my wife has a 2000 Windstar and I have a 2002 Windstar with 120K on it. It gets 26 MPG highway with gear and assistant (and sitting squatty in the back), ,about 20-21 MPG all around. It's comfortable to drive.

I've got a bad back, but other than that, the easiest all-around vehicle I've ever had was a Ford Taurus Wagon. A small EFP package and the seats partially folded down so I can seat three, and I still get 30 MPG highway. For everyday practical transportation, that car paid its way in spades.

I've been looking at an Element for some time...I think they're quirky enough to fit my personality, but a Sprinter would be a good standing storage unit as well as transporter and David's pics just bring me back to that line of thinking.

If I need a hauler/daily driver I'll have to stick with minivans/Element type stuff... But maybe I'll be able to justify a Sprinter and a personal vehicle next year if things pick up this year...

Good useful thread.
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Old March 24th, 2010, 03:45 PM   #197
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Figured I better get Brazil in this long-running forum-book!

Like for all you in euro-land and most other places, things are spendy here. We've got a small production team (3 families, 1 single), so everything has to do double duty. All vehicles are four-bangers, two are dual fuel (gasoline/alcohol).

Main rig for people/gear moving, is a 2005 Chevy mini-van (Zafira), seats 7, with two back seats folding down into the floor for expansion and rear seat that flip up. Fits our 12ft Kessler crane hardcase and lots of Pelican gear/camera cases and tripods boxes. All dark tinted windows for security & heat control and auto window roll up when I hit the alarm. Nice and very, very tough with 100k+.

Second is our field production rig, a 2009 Toyota HiLux 2x4, crew-cab. Does our rough, "off main route" stuff very nicely, but the mileage sucks (8km/l) and it's gasoline only. Same rig with diesel-4wd was $30,000(!!) more...so it'd never pay for the difference in fuel savings.

Last of all is our tiny "fade-into-the-background, nobody-would-bother-stealing" 2007 Fiat Fiorino. It's a little, white, bread delivery truck thing...unmarked, w/ all tinted windows, and all-enclosed/no-window, raised steel back. Fits a HUGE amount of gear for short city hauls, yet fits into tiny parking spots anywhere. Millions of them around, so no probs with leaving gear inside (with alarms). Plain jane, 5 speed manual, no radio, no air-conditioning (but 40mpg).

Had a steel rack on the top for hauling 50ft of dolly track, but finally went to just steadicam work now (dollies are too much hassle for not enough gain for our productions).
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Old March 24th, 2010, 04:48 PM   #198
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Figured I better get Brazil in this long-running forum-book!
When I was down in Brazil (Recife and Olinda) working on a documentary back in 2001, we used a VW Combi van to get around in and there seemed to be a TON of them on the road. Always eyed up the small Bandaranti (sp?) trucks with envy, just for puttering around...
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Old March 28th, 2010, 07:14 PM   #199
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Goodbye minivan - Hello SUV

For the last few years, I've been driving a very nice Chrysler Town and Country minivan. It was an exceptional choice for toting around my production gear without advertising "expensive equipment inside!" It was roomy enough to carry my 3 cameras in cases w/accessories, 2 crates of lighting gear, 2 cases of audio gear, a dolly and 40 ft. of track, plus tripods, booms, greenscreen kit with rods and stands, etc, and still leave just enough room for 2 passengers. When not working, it provided an exceptionally comfortable ride for family outings. I hated the idea of driving a minivan when we first got it, but I grew very attached to it and loved its functionality.

It was taken out recently while parked in a parking spot outside of a restaurant where I was in a meeting. Evidently, a driver was driving full clip in the parking zone without realizing that she was no longer on the road (it is speculated that she was likely totally wrapped up in a cell phone conversation and wasn't paying attention...never even slammed on the brakes.)

She turned out to be just fine, but totaled her car, and totaled my van.

After much searching, we were not able to find a suitable similar replacement for the van that would accommodate my specific needs, so we started searching for other vehicle types, and I recently brought home a very nice older model Ford Explorer we found via Craigslist.

It appears to be an exceptionally well-maintained (with full documentation) unit that handles very well and drive much more comfortably than I anticipated from something that is essentially a truck chassis. It is a mid-sized model with V6, so it should prove capable of hauling my gear, yet be a bit more economical on gas than larger model V8 SUVs. So far, I have played around with packing my gear into it, and although I am having to reconfigure some of it for a good fit, and put some bars and rails on the roof rack in some cases, it all fits well, and doesn't even bog down the vehicle like used to happen with the minivan.

The only drawback I've seen so far is that the sliding side doors of the minivan allowed me to access some gear easily without having to actually unpack the cases. But I think the extra performance and durability gained from the Explorer will balance out the transition very nicely. (I work on a couple of productions each year in some of the more rugged mountain regions of Northern California, and there have been some times that the van just wasn't up to the task - so the Explorer should prove a benefit in such cases.)

-Jon
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Old March 29th, 2010, 12:25 AM   #200
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Hi Jon!

Glad you weren't in your van, and I take it your gear wasn't either(?).
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Old March 29th, 2010, 12:44 AM   #201
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Hi Lorinda,
Great to hear from you. No, the van had no gear at the time. I was in a breakfast meeting with some clients discussing plans for a project, so luckily I wasn't in the van.. just some folders full of project paperwork that had been tossed around was easy enough to pick up and reorganize.

The only real bummer is that my daughter was an emotional wreck for a while because she was very attached to my van. (thought of it as hers even though she is only 6 years old.)

Plus I really struggled on a couple of shoots to which I wasn't able to carry all my needed gear while driving my wife's car in the interim.

You still driving that sweet Mustang? If so, I'm still planning on taking you up on your offer to take it for a spin next time I'm in Boise. (we're trying to plan a trip for this summer, can't believe it's been almost 3 years already.)

-Jon
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Old March 29th, 2010, 01:02 AM   #202
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You bet I am! Saw another one I really wanted but couldn't stand to part with the old one. So when you come here make time to drive both. :) Love to see you again! Hope your plans work out.
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Old March 30th, 2010, 10:19 AM   #203
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Honda Element 03'

Super versitile car. Love it. You can shoot out of the side doors and out of the back hatchback. Super smootheeee.
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Old September 2nd, 2010, 11:16 AM   #204
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a 97 ford ranger with near-on 300,000 miles on it. its extended cab.

The camera and sound equipment goes in the "back seat" (truthfully, you could never fit a grown man back there, but it holds a few pelican cases very nicely.

all the G&E stuff and the gear thats not so temprature-sensitive rides in the bed, which has a lockable cover over it.


When need absolutely be, I hitch a tray to the rear of it, and that gives me some extra space to work with, but I've rarely needed it. Cameras are small these days, and just dont need as many lights as they used to.
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Old September 2nd, 2010, 11:32 AM   #205
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During the last long production road trip to Colorado and after driving about 500 miles, we decided we needed to have a photo shoot when the sun came up :D

'09 Malibu actually does a decent job hauling everything around. I can even fit a 10' roll of paper in there thanks to rear fold down seats.

34mpg and the upgraded interior options sure do make my longer production trips enjoyable and cheap to boot.
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Old November 29th, 2010, 07:23 PM   #206
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G'day,

I use a Land Rover Discovery 3. I think they just call them a D3 or LR3 in the US? I chose this vehicle because of its off-road capabilities as well as its cargo carrying capacity.

I have installed a safety barrier just behind the rear seats and store most of my gear behind this in the very rear part of the vehicle. This way, if I ever have to brake hard or am involved in an accident, I'm not going to cop something heavy in the back of my head.

If I do load stuff into the rear passenger area, the seats fold down nice and level, and low. The vehicle is diesel but performs as well as many petrol engines and gives me a reasonable 20.5 mpg (US gallons) or 11.5 litres/100 Kilometres. This is not bad considering that the vehicle weighs about 3000Kg unloaded. It carries 200 litres of fuel, has a steel kangaroo bar and winch on the front and steel rear bar with a rack for two spare tyres - which all contribute to the weight.

The long and short of it is that the vehicle can go anywhere (great for those out-of-the way shots), has a 1600 Kilometre (1000 mile) range and can carry heaps of gear.

Cheers

Russ
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Old November 30th, 2010, 01:54 AM   #207
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Skoda Octavia 2l automatic turbo diesel wagon. Went on a 9 week (cycle racing) road trip with it late last year.

Doing around 7.5l/100km now but 6l/100km was my PB for one particular 700km leg of the trip. The diesel goes very well :-)
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Old December 3rd, 2010, 11:24 PM   #208
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MPG tuned 2002 Acura RSX 6 speed manual daily driver (38MPG, 192WHP/152WTQ), 348WHP/305WTQ Lancer Evo 9 when i can pry it out of my girlfriends' hands, MINT 2001 BMW 330Ci 5 speed on nice summer days, and a custom rebuilt 580WHP 1990 Nissan 300ZX (Z32) twin turbo when i feel like being a bad boy (unfinished project car).
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Old December 11th, 2010, 03:09 AM   #209
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Sold the MINI (and a few other goods) and traded up to this baby - 2011 BMW 335d (Yep, diesel, folks!)

265hp, 425 ft/lb torque, and 40mpg highway. A GREAT hauler with wonderful comfort, tech and fuel economy. Definitely does away with all of the American stereotypes of diesels!

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/9005046/335d...%2004%2000.jpg
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Old December 11th, 2010, 11:47 AM   #210
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Originally Posted by Trevor Meeks View Post
Sold the MINI (and a few other goods) and traded up to this baby - 2011 BMW 335d (Yep, diesel, folks!)

265hp, 425 ft/lb torque, and 40mpg highway. A GREAT hauler with wonderful comfort, tech and fuel economy. Definitely does away with all of the American stereotypes of diesels!

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/9005046/335d...%2004%2000.jpg
Beautiful. I love it, Trevor. Next time I'm through Sonoma, I'll look out for you zippin' through town.

-Jon
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